Two-day national consultation on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration began on Sunday in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh aimed to have greater awareness and engagement on GCM among various migrants’ stakeholders.
Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration, in collaboration with the Migrant Forum in Asia, organized the National Consultation at the city’s CIRDAP auditorium.
The objective of consultation is to have strategic collaboration in addressing migration issues with a human rights-based approach within and beyond the GCM, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as national and sub-regional processes.
Migrant rights campaigners and civil society members who took part in the consultation on Sunday blamed that the government has not yet recognized Bangladesh female migrants returning home from Saudi Arabia being abused there.
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit director Marina Sultana who moderated the inaugural session said that the consultation was aimed at generating ideas for protecting and promoting rights of the migrant workers and recognizing their contribution to the economy.
Speaking as chief guest, co-chair of the parliamentarians Caucus on migration and development Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, MP said that migrant workers must be united to realize their rights.
‘They should not be divided into various parties or groups,’ she said, adding that it was very necessary to have data of the returnee migrants for taking necessary measures for them.
BCSM co-chair and WARBE Development Foundation’s chairman Syed Saiful Haque said that it was responsibility of the government to implement relevant laws and policies to ensure right of the migrant workers.
Describing the Global Compact on migration as an agreed document, he said that at least 193 countries of the globe have already agreed on setting 23 goals and 187 actions on the compact aimed to protect the human rights of the migrant workers.
Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program chairman Shakirul Islam who presented a keynote on Migration and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal said that the SDG 10.7, stipulate the safe, orderly and responsible migration.
In Bangladesh, he said that the migration cost is very high and migrant workers have to pay six to 10 times of the government fixed rate of the migration cost.
Shakirul also said that the ministry was yet to recognize the abused female migrants returning from abroad and the wage earners welfare board did not provide any financial assistance for the abused female workers who were not accepted by their families at the airport.
‘The ministry of expatriates welfare and overseas employment must be more dynamic,’ he suggested.
Alexis Nadine Bautista of Migrant Forum in Asia made her welcome address while WARBE Development Foundation’s director Jasiya Khatoon presented keynote paper on Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
Manusher Jonna Foundation’s senior programme manager Sarwat Binte Islam said that basic rights of all migrant workers including documented, undocumented and trafficking victims must be protected by GCM with due emphasis.
Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association director Sumaiya Islam said that information of safe migration must be sent to the marginalized people.
She demanded ensuring rights of all of all migrants along with preparing data of the returnee migrants.
Farhad Al Karim of BRAC migration Programme said that abused female workers were returning home almost every day from KSA.
He urged the government to ensure quality migration and send female workers after protecting their security abroad.
Bangladesh Ovibashi Adhikar Forum chairman Nazmul Ahsan, BOMSA general secretary Sheikh Rumana and Anans Uddin Anas from RMMRU, among others also took part in the consultation.